For many radio listeners, Harris Tweed’s splendid sound has already etched itself into their hearts, mostly on the wings of ‘Superfly’, the song that heralded Harris Tweed’s arrival on radio.
But if ‘Superfly’ and the likes of ‘Easy to Leave’ – occupies pop’s centre ground, there’s much on ‘The Younger’ that veers off into less easily identifiable terrain: ‘Le Musketeer est Brave’ lets an Americana aesthetic surface, through quite lovely guitar work and with MacNeil’s plaintive vocals, its not hard to be drawn in by the distinctively 21st century folk threads that work their way through ‘Stuck on this Course’, a song that spotlights MacNeil’s unerring ear for a melody, here delivered on the piano.
Between the 31st of December 2004 and the 31st of December 2005, they gigged a fair but as Pilot. ‘The name came because we never thought of ourselves as a band at the time – we thought we would just do that one festival as a ‘pilot’. Explains Torr, and it’s name suggests, it was never meant to be the vehicle for Torr and MacNeil’s musical vision and after a year of gigging, ‘we wanted to push more and the other guys in the band weren’t in that head space’ so Torr and MacNeil decided to do something on their own.
Fun is something that wades its way into the songs on ‘The Younger’ only intermittently. Mostly the ten tracks on the album waste no time in laying into the intimate and affecting tales of love lost and won, hearts twisted and made whole, all delivered off the foundation of MacNeil’s peerless piano driven melodies and wrapped up in Torr’s production vision. It’s a compelling combination and it’s one that’s set to take the Harris Tweed name into far more households than those with a liking for a beautifully spun cloth.